Byzantine Jewry in the Mediterranean Economy by Joshua Holo

By Joshua Holo

Utilizing basic resources, Joshua Holo uncovers the daily workings of the Byzantine-Jewish economic system within the center Byzantine interval. equipped on an online of trade structures either specific to the Jewish group and built-in in society at huge, this financial system forces a revision of Jewish background within the quarter. mockingly, the 2 designated monetary orientations, inward and outward, at the same time complicated either the mixing of the Jews into the bigger Byzantine economic system and their segregation as a self-contained physique monetary. Dr Holo unearths that the Jews typically leveraged their inner, even unique, platforms of legislation and tradition to wreck into - sometimes to dominate - Byzantine markets. In doing so, they problem our inspiration of Diaspora lifestyles as a stability among the 2 competing impulses of integration and segregation. The luck of this company, moreover, qualifies the existing declare of Jewish financial decline through the advertisement Revolution.

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By the Middle Byzantine period, the sources on Jewish taxation diminish in clarity as compared to the imperial codes of the early period. However, despite the murkiness of the Jewish tax status, the sources allow us to characterize their payments from both the Jewish and Byzantine perspectives in terms of the Jewish standing vis-à-vis the fisc – one key indication of their standing before the law. In all, the structures of taxation seem to apply to the Jews on fundamentally, though not entirely, similar terms to those of non-Jews.

He does not, however, fail to note specific cases; for example, he recognizes (p. 131) the importance of the Jews in the sea trade, but his otherwise comprehensive book simply does not capture the magnitude of the Jewish participation in travel and commerce in the period he covers. Regarding the role of demographics in the course of economic development, an instructive comparison can be drawn to the Spanish Jews. After the Expulsions of 1492 and 1497, the Jews settled in, among other places, the Ottoman Empire.

Subsequently, the third trend reversed the second; following the so-called Byzantine Renaissance of the mid-tenth century, the Jews found increasing 4 5 6 7 Ankori, Karaites, 117; Starr, JBE, 29–30. Regarding some cities, like Adrianople, only tantalizing hints remain about the possibility of Jews having settled there in the middle Byzantine period; see Ankori, Karaites, 151, n. 256, and A. Danon, “Adrianople,” in the Jewish Encyclopedia (New York and London 1901–6), vol. I, 213b. On the rise of Strobilos, see Ch.

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